May the initiation of legitimate, lawful force be with you - Macleans.ca
 

May the initiation of legitimate, lawful force be with you


 

The Western Standard, intending to satirize the supposed sobriety and untouchable Euclidean perfection of the controversial census long form, creates a parody site for the “Jedi Church of Canada”. The parody is only slightly weakened by the necessity to acknowledge, in the fine print, the existence of a genuine, apparently earnest, federally registered Order of the Jedi Inc.


 

May the initiation of legitimate, lawful force be with you

  1. The Cons have yet to catch on.

    The rightwing has never had a sense of humour.

    • "The rightwing has never had a sense of humour."

      Well I don't know about "never". Archaeological evidence suggests that in ancient times right-wingers were known to laugh, albeit largely in an experimental sort of "what are those lefties doing when they open their mouths and gasp like fishes in response to absurd statements" kind of way.

      Cave art in North Africa clearly shows an early model of the Harper (specifically the Harper 1000 – the original horse-driven version) with a "smile" on its face, although researchers are divided as to whether the cold blue eyes are part of the smile or just sitting above it like hockey fans dragged by their friends to nosebleed seats at a baseball game.

      Rumour even has it that right-wingers have been seen laughing at themselves in modern times, although no recorded instance of this exists beyond a few fuzzy pictures taken by people lost in the wilderness of Algonquin Park. Still, you never know.

  2. … that's no parody.

    • Watch for the Western Standard to be sued by Order of the Jedi Inc.

  3. How appropriate. After all, it seems "the Force" is the only thing Harper and Clement needed to consult before making this decision.

  4. Also interesting, of course, that while the "coercive government" argument, the "privacy" argument, the "lack of accuracy/Jedi" argument, the "voluntary is just as good" argument, and the "this is just data used to expand the evil state" argument (or whatever their current excuse of the moment is) may apply to Canadians generally, it seems farmers don't have the same sensitivities or concerns:

    "Clement says the agricultural census is used for valuable measures "that will help farmers," adding, "The argument obviously to farming associations and to farmers is, 'You fill out the form, it'll help the government help you in your farming activities.'"

    Critics of the government move have been arguing that's exactly what the regular long-form census does for the general population, and particularly for minority and disadvantaged groups.

    Clement concedes that he did not consult with the groups and organizations that rely on census data.

    • I must wonder if things would have gone differently if they would have simply floated this beforehand. Instead of announcing the decision, just leak the idea to the media. They could have even done so as 'of the exhaustive list of options recommended to the government, statscan is suggesting that one option is to eliminate the mandatory form, and some members of the government appear to think this is a good idea, but no decision has been made'. Sometimes a trial balloon is a good idea when you're trying to appeal to a very limited segment of your base, and have no idea what you're talking about or how you'll rationally defend a given policy choice.

      'Alright, Cabinet, we're going to do away with the Canada flag and revert to the Red Ensign… I assume this will not cause a kerfuffle and will be supported by the 3% of die hard monarchists, so everyone just get with the program, this is essentially a done deal"

      • If they had floated it beforehand, the opposition would have labeled them indecisive and lacking leadership abilities.

        • Haha, if you think that Harper doesn't float trial balloons on controversial issues, you haven't been paying attention, and I don't know why you (and others) think that consultation and listening to other people once in a while indicates a dearth of leadership, especially when it's obvious that it's on an issue that you have no idea what you're talking about. And truthfully, I can't recall a situation where Harper has been somewhat equivocal on a given issue and the opposition has jumped all over him for not being a leader (they prefer other, no less ridiculous talking points, like 'secret agenda', 'far right Bushist', etc.). As far as partisan tactics go, I think that the Conservatives have patented that particular play. Fearing that a Harper open to dialogue would be portrayed as a weak and indecisive leader just sounds paranoid.

          • Never attribute to stupidity or incompetence that which can accurately be described as malice;
            http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/s/steph

            Really, I wonder what people see in this guy? I don't think he actually has a reflection in the mirror.

          • "I don't believe an Alliance government should sponsor legislation on abortion or a referendum on abortion. "

            You're right, he is a spineless louse after all. Who on this planet is still in favour of legalized abortions?

          • Are you asking for a show of hands – or coathangers?

          • What, is the prospect of coathangers supposed to bother me? It doesn't.

          • That's because you lack empathy for women who have died that way, and have a disproportionate amount for embryos that have never had a thought, or experience.

            It's possible to advocate for laws restricting abortion while still having the back-alley abortion problem bother you. The fact that it doesn't shows that you don't really value human life at all, and strips you of any moral high ground you think you hold.

          • I don't hold much value to the human lives of those who die try to take human lives, if that's what you're asking.

          • And that's why your version of right to life will never make sense.

          • I'm not really interested in a lengthy debate with someone obviously set hard in their views, but I would like to leave you with one thought.

            The difference between us is that I see a distinction between a human "life", and a human "person". I value ones rights above the other, with regard to the sentient beings supremacy over their own body.

            I would be in favour of codifying some laws relating to late-term abortion. If we are ever to get to that point in a rational discussion of the issue, you would have to make some large compromises, starting with safe and free abortions for all who request them under 12 weeks gestation (minimum).

          • Of the two of us, one proposes human life starts with the electrical impulse which irrevocably binds two gametes into a zygote and the other picks a semi-random age (while others treat birth as some sort of mystical event based entirely on silly old superstitions). I don't see anything wrong with my distinction between life and a human life.

            Again, the "you must insist on safe and free abortions" makes little sense to me. I don't insist on doctors assisting mothers in killing their child 15 months after conception, so I'm not sure why you need to insist that they get such assistance after two.

          • The distinction is not between "life", and "human life".
            It's between a "human life", and a "human person".

            I draw the line somewhere around 20-24 weeks, at the time of the first brainwaves. Others may use different metrics. It is hard to argue that a zygote is a "person" in any useful meaning of the word. (thus my 12 week minimum)

          • I don't know why you (and others) think that consultation and listening to other people once in a while indicates a dearth of leadership

            I don't.

            I'm just saying what the opposition would say.

            No, there are few examples, because Harper rarely gives them the chance. If Harper floats a balloon, he does it very indirectly, so that it cannot be directly traced back to the government.

            Here's an example: when Harper appointed Manley to lead a review of Afghanistan, many Liberals jumped on Manley as a betrayal to their cause.

            Example number 2: every time Harper has floated an environmental plan and asked for consultation, the opposition has jumped on him for failing to do their bidding and wreck the Canadian economy with draconian emissions controls that are unquestionably impossible to achieve. Yes, they do, in fact, label him as lacking leadership on environmental issues, simply because he tries to reach out to Canadians to find out in truth what Canadians as a whole wish to do with environmental policies in the future.

          • No, there are few examples, because Harper rarely gives them the chance. If Harper floats a balloon, he does it very indirectly, so that it cannot be directly traced back to the government.

            Did you by chance deign to read my comment? Like when I said "They could have even done so as 'of the exhaustive list of options recommended to the government, statscan is suggesting that one option is to eliminate the mandatory form, and some members of the government appear to think this is a good idea, but no decision has been made'"? No? That might be a big part of your problem.

          • My problem? Wow, don't you have a nerve. I don't think I have a problem, unless perhaps my problem is continuing this conversation.

            Anyway, the problem with the indirectly floating a balloon option is that it takes a long time and a lot of effort. In this particular case, I'm sure they believe (and I think they're right) that there is no harm in taking the option they've taken.

            Ordinary Canadians really don't care about this issue. Political junkies care. Antagonist partisans (eg Wherry and many Maclean's commenters) want to leverage this as a bludgeon to strike the government. Some academics and corporations are upset they lost a cash cow. But average joes do not care a whit.

            Even the Maclean's poll shows 46% of Maclean's political junkie readers (well above the polling level of the Conservative party which is around 35%) don't see any harm in the move.

            Like many faux-scandals to grace the pages of the media, like wafer-gate, h1n1-gate, suuad mohamud gate, and a gazillion other ridiculous fake issues, this is one more in a long line of issues that partisans mistakenly characterize as a mistake by the government in the forlorn but fruitless hope that it will sink them somehow.

          • Not nearly just political junkies, not nearly just antagonist partisans. This has a direct adverse impact on the way a lot of organizations conduct their affairs. This is not bringing on the dark days of the apocolypse, but it definitely has an impact on policy making by a myriad of different governments and departments, on community organizations, on professional associations, on businesses, on religious groups, etc.

            And to judge the "rightness" of a policy based upon whether they can get away with it in an election is why Canadians don't like politicians and are turning away in greater and greater numbers from engagement in politics. Besides, on what basis do you conclude that "ordinary Canadians really don't care about this issue"? I have yet to see a poll on this.

          • Well, there is a poll directly to your right. The poll says 47% of Maclean's readers see no problem with this decision. Quite a far cry from the implications from Wherry and individuals such as yourself intimating a groundswell of opposition. Maclean's readers are split right down the middle.

            And to judge the "rightness" of a policy based upon whether they can get away with it

            Who said that? Why would you insinuate that anyone thinks this way? It's BS. The government did this because they felt it was right. Period. Your implication is insulting, but typical of the modern-day elitist liberal.

            As far as I'm concerned, there are arguments for and against this issue, and I think the government's decision wins out. I'm one of those people who ignored the census workers last time around (and suffered no fine nor jail time). I didn't like the fact that were not asking for my personal matters, but demanding them, as if they had a right to them. From one census to the next, public servants act as if I don't exist other than to fill their tax coffers, and then suddenly when the census rolls around my personal life is their personal property.

          • You are relying on a voluntary online poll? You really haven't been paying any attention, have you?

            Who said that? " I'm sure they believe (and I think they're right) that there is no harm in taking the option they've taken."

            But to be fair to you, you did write that all of two hours ago.

          • Let me know when you attempt to make sense. You're really going off the deep end at this point.

          • You know, I was waiting for somebody to bring up the poll in the sidebar and thereby prove that they have no understanding of statistical methods. Though it seems I was off by several hours; I was expecting it earlier.

          • "This has a direct adverse impact on the way a lot of organizations conduct their affairs."

            So does a tax increase, and the opposition parties never met one of those they didn't like.

            Come to think of it, the Do-Not-Call list had a direct adverse impact on the way a lot of organizations conducted their affairs as well. Several of the same ones, in fact.

          • BS.

            The Liberals cut a lot more taxes than Harper has while cutting spending AND they did it while balancing the budget and creating surpluses to pay down the debt. THAT is the definition of acting fiscally responsible. Harper spent away the surplus and created a deficit even before the recession came along. He hasn't made an actual cut and still has no real plan for retiring the deficit, just as we're going into a double dip recession.

          • Turn off the partisan blinders for a minute. You're starting to sound like a robot.

          • Sorry if reality is so offensive to your ears.

            But Harper has made a mess of our finances and you blind partisans are giving him a free pass.

          • As for the organizations: municipal governments, provincial governments, Elections Canada, Immigration Canada, hospital/highway/electricity grid, investments etc etc – those are the kinds of affairs that are adversely impacted by Harper's boneheaded ideological decision.

            Good policy making sacrificed on the alter of information and knowledge averse ideology.

          • Geesh, even the electric grid is said to have an opinion on this subject now? Will wonders never cease?

          • Makes me wonder how the human race survived prior to the mandatory long form. Gotta love how these die-hards insinuate that a minor change like this one will be the end to life as we know it.

            Iggy, save us! Save us O Liberals.

          • Who is saying the end of life as we know it? Example please.

            Good policy is derived from good information. Harper has deliberately and for ideological reasons decided we are better off with bad data. This will result in bad or certainly worse and more expensive and wasteful policy.

            Now, we know Harper from two of his prior chiefs of staff that he always puts politics over policy, so it's no surprise. But it is not the end of the world that Canadians from all walks of life and all corners of the political spectrum think he is both lying to us and making a stupid decision. Which he is on both counts.

          • Who is saying the end of life as we know it? Example please.

            hospital/highway/electricity grid

            By the way, none of those things would be affected in any way by the census.

          • You are working hard at making stuff up.

            As I have repeated several times hereabouts, I think personally and I think most are saying that this is not the end of the world but will definitely result in bad policy making because of unreliable data and waste.

            If you don't know how many people could be living in an area, where they are working, what is the age demographics, etc. you are not able to develop good or better plans for the number of hospital beds, the amount of roadways necessary and the electricity needs now and, more importantly, in the future.

            The result, as we know from history with bureaucrats, is that they will cautiously overestimate, likely creating much waste or, worse, underestimating causing shortages which also results in higher costs and waste as costly patchwork solutions become necessary.

          • If you don't know how many people could be living in an area, where they are working, what is the age demographics

            All of that information is easily obtained through other means. The long form census is needed for none of that. In fact, the short form is not needed for that either, it's data that is easily obtainable in numerous ways.

            I'm not the one making stuff up, you are. You're in fantasyland.

          • "hospital/highway/electricity grid
            By the way, none of those things would be affected in any way by the census."

            Census data is heavily relied upon to ensure that power, roads and hospital services are placed where needed most. Ask any province/municipality. Ask your local contractors, if you want private sector confirmation. I'm suspecting you don't want confirmation.

          • Highways are constructed according to traffic readings, not census data.

            Electricity grids are constructed according to building construction and market demand, not census data.

            Hospitals are built according to patient demand and population, not census data.

            If you're relying on census data for the answers to these questions, you're already too late! The highways and hospitals should already be built.

            Just the fact that the government knows where to send the census means they know where everybody lives.

          • Allow me to shred just one of your willfully ignorant statements.

            "Hospitals are built according to patient demand and population, not census data."

            Patient demand? Which is measured by letters to the editor? Tweets? No. It's not, actually.

            Population? Yep. But since it takes between 4 and 10 years to plan and build a working hospital, static population figures don't work. The population has grown or shrunk…you're already too late!

            Which is why they use projected population. How do we project population?

            Drumroll please….How many bedrooms do you have in your house?

          • You are too funny. People don't project population growth by counting bedrooms! That would be completely ridiculous! There are so many reasons why that would not only fail to work, but also why other methods would be so much easier and more reliable. OMG, you are funny!

            As for patient demand, here's how it works. Hospital has beds that are on average, 75% full one year. Next year, 80%. Next year, 89%. Hmmmm…. maybe the hospital needs a new wing sometime in the next 5 years! Or maybe, if all local hospitals are equally near capacity, maybe we need a new hospital! See? It's easy to understand.

          • Anyway, the problem with the indirectly floating a balloon option is that it takes a long time and a lot of effort.

            Yes. "Hey Dimitri, I want you to leak something to the press, I'm not to sure about the reaction. But be casual about it, no names" would be quite difficult. Almost impossible! You'd have to spend all your political capital to climb that Everest. God knows the media insists on impeccable, on the record sources for all of their material. Get a grip.

            And the rest of your comment had nothing to do with my point, so carry on.

          • so carry on

            I'll pass, genius.

        • It isn't nearly just the opposition and it isn't nearly even just "the lefties". This is one of those important discussions that may deserve "checking your rhetoric at the door".

  5. Incidentally, I must add, as Macleans resident De-hyperventilation-in-Chief and resolute contrarian, I'm a bit disappointed that Cosh wouldn't come out and say "yes, this is dumb and unnecessary, but to think that this will have any effect on actual policy making or informed political discourse in this country is far fetched, at best".

    • Then again, I'm normally disappointed when people don't come out and say they agree with me, so maybe it says less about Cosh than it does about me. Excuse me while I make another appointment with my shrink.

  6. Who knew Yoda was Canadian?

    • The touque you didn't notice?

  7. "Many Jedi keep themselves hidden away in places such as remote swamps or dessert outposts." [sic]

    Dessert outposts?

    The Jedi are hiding out at Dairy Queen?

    • Maybe that explains why their Vader couldn't fit into his costume.

  8. Satire fail. Hilarious!

  9. I don't see why the Jedi would care, really.

    Census: Q22:
    What is this person's religion?
    Indicate a specific denomination or religion even if this person is not currently a practising member of that group.
    For example, Roman Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, United Church, Anglican, Lutheran, Baptist, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Islam, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, etc.

    Jedi: These aren't the droids you're looking for.

    Census: These aren't the droids we're looking for.

    Jedi: I can go about my business.

    Census: You can go about your business.

  10. Wait…I thought the Western Standard was the satire. It's real?

    Jeebus, how could a publication like that ever make any mone….oh…sorry.

    Too soon?

  11. Just for a second, consider the question how much housework we do. Even how much you coerce a person at a point of a gun, I do not believe for a moment that one can accurately and exactly answer that question (to make stat can job really exact and make many of pro long form happy). Another question about, difficulty climbing or bending… by the time Stat Can receives the answer, the person might be well already or just starting to have problems thus making the datainvalid and useless. So tell me again, what really are the true reasons you are howling for it? Are you really on the side of data's validity or just love to count coerced and threatened beans.

    • There are probably issues of people answering inaccurately in various ways. That isn't a huge concern, so long as people flub in a random fashion and the sample is large as one person's error will cancel out another's. The problem is systematic bias resulting from excluding certain groups from the census disproportionately.

  12. The Jedi Order has overdue filings! They need to hire a good Sith accountant pronto.

  13. Way to shred the days talking points Colby.

    Do you get a reverse pair of steak knives for that?

  14. On a slighly less serious note…why mock the Jedi faith? It's every bit as 'real' as any other religion.

    Do I really need to post a George Carlin video here for your edification?